Monday, December 20, 2010

mock rockin' beats

winston-salem: the land of famous cigarettes and donuts. self-destructive excess.

sunday: the day of cyclocross. self-destructive excess.

combine these two things in a race hosted by the Mock Orange Bike guys, who ride bikes bound to force self-loathing (either in the sense that they ride bikes that make you feel like your bike is unsatisfying, or they ride bikes in a manner that makes you feel like the manner in which you ride a bike is unsatisfying (or both)), and you've got a recipe for self-destructive excess.

the snowstorm that threatened to make the day epic never arrived. but the MOB constructed a course that combined open fields and dense forest, technical descents and uphill pavement, tight corners and sweeping bends, tacky grass and greasy mud. everything except places to relax. well, nowhere to relax on course. they had cheap beer a flowin', food a grillin', cowbells a ringin', Euro-techno a bumpin', and elves a caperin'. A fine time indeed.

I hadn't raced the past three weekends, so was feeling nicely tapered and eager to roll. in my mind, at least. My legs had other ideas. i had a semi-bad start, nearly crashing on the slippery first corner, then grinding along trying to settle into my rhythm. but at about the 1/2-lap point, i looked around and quickly realized i was about third to last. this wouldn't necessarily be bad--time to surge during the open stretches and start pulling back places--but i already felt terrible. eventually managed to gain contact with a decent little group, but got slowed by a dude's crash and never regained contact. chased on my own, caught in limbo between Josh (Tyler's/Garneau) and Nate-Dogg (Regulators) until Nate mysteriously disappeared. (The mystery was later solved--he crashed hard on a loose-gravel descent and ended up with big chunk of rock in his helmet.)

The good news for me was that this was the first race of the season that I felt that my bike handling was pretty good. The bad news was that this was the race I had to dig the deepest just to suck. I remember not remembering several sections. Some might say that it's cool to work hard enough to kinda get dizzy, but quite frankly, unless you're doing this to edge out a tough win, it's not cool. It just means that you aren't fit enough to do what you want to do.

Linus was left holding a different mixed bag. He said he rode one of the most complete races of his season; great fitness, flawless equipment, impeccable lines. His only problem was that he overslept and missed his start by about 3 minutes. He probably clawed back some of that time, but nowhere near enough to place well.

The race did have several highlights from stars of the Forest Hills Park Cyclocross Association, including TomDom's first cx race in NC, Byron's win in the 3s followed by Dennis in 2nd, J.Mock's 2nd place, and Mat-V's return to racing after his shoulder-separating crash in the first race of the year.

A couple of more weeks off the bike, then, more racing.

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